Our nation is built on the strength of our citizens. Every day, we encounter situations calling upon us to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement. Not only does neighborhood watch allow citizens to help in the fight against crime, it is also an opportunity for communities to bond through service. The Neighborhood Watch Program draws upon the compassion of average citizens, asking them to lend their neighbors a hand.
The neighborhood develops their Neighborhood Watch program with assistance from the Urbana Police Department. Each neighborhood watch is assigned an officer who actually works in that beat that neighborhood watch encompasses. This is a vital tool to become acquainted with an officer who is readily available to work with the Neighborhood Watch. Officers are available to provide advice on security, such as the best methods to secure homes and automobiles, how to be alert to danger on the street, and how to respond to a variety of law enforcement situations.
Residents are encouraged to meet regularly to share information about neighborhood problems with each other and with the police. Police need the citizen’s help to do their jobs successfully. Neighborhood Watch programs are a good way to improve communication and trust between citizens and police. It is a way for officers to work with your community to earn the trust that they need to become more efficient in doing their jobs.
Neighborhood Watches are also an excellent way to meet your neighbors, solve other problems not related to law enforcement, work with other city services and come up with plans for neighborhood improvements. Watches can meet monthly, quarterly or bi-yearly to discuss a wide range issues involving their community. Watches have sponsored barbeques, neighborhood block parties and holiday events to get their communities more involved.
You can become a leader and help to make your neighborhood a better place to live. If you or someone you know is interested in starting a neighborhood watch in your area, please contact Interim Assistant Chief Robert Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or community liason officer Amy Anderson email@example.com at the Urbana Police Department at (217)384-2320.